1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bernard Barton

T. T., "On Barton, the Quaker Poet" Living Poets of England: Specimens of the Living British Poets (1827) 2:506.



BERNARD BARTON was born a Quaker in the year 1784, and educated at a Quaker seminary. In the year 1806, Mr. Barton took up his residence at Woodbridge, Suffolk, and now holds a situation in the Bank at that place. In 1810 he began to "commit the sin of rhyme," and in 1812 published an anonymous volume, entitled, Metrical Effusions, which was followed in 1818 by a volume of Poems by an Amateur. Encouraged by the very flattering manner in which these impressions of his Poems were received by his friends, he at last ventured to publish in a small volume, Poems by Bernard Barton, which was very favourably noticed by the Literary Journals, and has reached a third edition. Little more than a year ago he published Napoleon, and other Poems.

Such has been the literary career of Bernard Barton. If it have not left behind it the brilliant track of other poetical comets, it has been less erratic in its course; — and his Parnassian vespers may be said to possess all the mild and soothing beauties of the Evening star. If his Muse have not always reached the sun-ward path of the soaring eagle, it is no extravagant praise to say that she has often emulated the sublimity of his aerial flight. But the great charm thrown around the effusions of the Suffolk bard is that "lucid veil" of morality and religion which "covers but not conceals;" that "silver network" through which shine his poetic "apples of gold."